Recovery on Gen. Clark’s agenda

Retired Four Star American Army General Wesley Clark is to comment on Cayman’s recovery effort as the keynote speaker at the 19 January Business Outlook conference.

General Clark, a former US presidential candidate and Supreme NATO Allied Commander, was last in the Cayman Islands immediately after Hurricane Ivan negotiating a deal that has resulted in the company for which he works, James Lee Witt Associates, which is advising government on recovery efforts after the storm.

This is the second annual conference, which is intended to project the likely path of Cayman business community throughout the year. Fidelity is the host.

‘Fidelity and its co-sponsors are pleased to facilitate this timely conference that seeks to answer the questions in the wake of Hurricane Ivan’s massive disruption, and address other issues of the new business year. Cayman Business Outlook is a conference and networking opportunity for everyone in the Cayman Islands,’ Fidelity Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Michael Anderson said at a luncheon press briefing Wednesday.

Also at the Wharf Restaurant briefing were conference co-sponsors Dale Edwards, representing RoyalStar Assurance; Tom Gammage, representing Nemwil; Frazer Lindsay of PriceWaterhouseCoopers; Scott Elphinstone of Five Continents Financial; JD Buckley of Digicel; Rick McTaggart of Consolidated Water; Shaun McCann of Campbells, and Canover Watson of Admiral Administration. Another co-sponsor is RBTT Financial Holdings.

This year’s conference is themed ‘Post Ivan: Building a better Cayman’, and seeks to build on the successful event Fidelity hosted last January when some 300 persons attended.

But, while General Clark’s presentation will be the flagship at this year’s conference, it is the is the opening address by Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush that business community members will look for answers on financing Cayman’s recovery effort.

Fidelity President Brett Hill pointed to the ECLAC finding that the country needs $2.8 billion for recovery, and the fact that through claim settlement insurance companies will finance almost half that amount. ‘Who is going to fund the other half?’ he asked.

Mr. Brett said business leaders expect to hear from Mr. Bush of Government’s planned moves to create a climate for alternative investment.

‘This is a great opportunity to come up with innovative products for people to invest. We think there can be created new investment vehicles,’ he said.

Business Development Manager Jeffrey Webb wants the administration to come with breaks for locals, ‘Here is an opportunity for Government to create opportunities for Caymanians to invest back into their country.’